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Last, regarding the William Johnston comment about the Kansas Cit Woodworkers Guild and their giant collective membership workshop, does anyone know if there is anything similar in the greater metro Boston area, on any scale, at any size?
If so, leave a comment here, also send me an email message though I don't know if this site will posting my email address - I'll try. :-) I build acoustic guitars of all sorts - steel string, classic, flamenco and others from across the Americas. I use basic hand tools for the most part but on occasion, especially for jig building, access to a real wooodworker's workshop of any size would be very useful since my workshop is mainly my kitchen. But when the tools are exclusively basic hand tools by necessity and mostly choice, though if and when I have even a small dedicated workshop space I will put in some basic machinery, things with motors. :-) email@example.com
Take care and seize the day.
"Woodworking as a hobby is dying. For all everyone wants people to learn to work wood, and all woodworking, in any form, is a very satisfying thing to do, fewer and fewer young people are interested in it." Perhaps the death of woodworking is greatly exaggerated. Particularly if you expand the definition of what you consider woodworking.
This runs through my head every time I haul a new load of wood into one of the two maker-spaces I frequent in the SF Bay Area, the Crucible and TechShop. Not only do I see people lined up at the planer and table saw most weekends, but I see even longer lines at the THREE ShopBot CNC machines and the laser cutter and engraver. This "Maker" movement is booming, and a lot of these people are making actual furniture out of actual wood. But sometimes this is "furniture making" like the current generation of woodworkers might not recognize as a valid expression of the craft.
Arts and Crafts arose as a movement partially as a reaction to mass industrialization, and sought to put the spotlight back on the craftsman rather than just the finished good. Then came the Reitveld, the Bauhaus, and other Modernist furniture styles that saw a chair and perceived a machine for sitting. Much of the CNC furniture I see coming out of Techshop has a similar point of view...flexible, utilitarian furniture for modern lifestyles...and you see it filling startups and lofts all over the city. But some of it manages to be more beautiful than utilitarian. Perhaps we are in a similar historical transition and we don't know it yet, where Krenov and Maloof are the current equivalent of Stickley and the Greene brothers.
I agree that campaign furniture is a great genre of furniture for the 21st century. I saw a modern interpretation of a steamer trunk by Method Studio's Callum Robinson in the March 2014 issue of the British mag Furniture and Cabinetmaking that blew my mind. Its as good of an example as I've seen thus far of someone using modern materials and construction techniques but remaining within the recognizable boundaries of the genre.